天文学院Reberto Soria教授参加在华外国专家新春座谈会

  • 文/天文与空间科学学院 国际合作处 图/中国政府网 (天文与空间科学学院)
  • 创建于 2021-02-02
  • 1989

  2月2日下午,在华外国专家新春座谈会在人民大会堂举行。国务院总理李克强出席座谈会并同外国专家代表亲切交流。中国科学院大学(以下简称“国科大”)天文与空间科学学院Reberto Soria教授应邀参加座谈,并分享了天文领域科学研究的体会和建议。

  李克强首先向在华外国专家和所有支持中国现代化建设事业的国际友人致以节日问候和良好祝愿。他表示,中国改革开放以来,一批批外国专家来华工作,为中国现代化建设贡献智慧和力量,中国人民感怀于心。邀请外国专家对中国政府工作提出意见和建议,有利于促进科学民主决策,也是更好顺应国内国际发展大势。

  Roberto Soria教授作为代表应邀参加座谈会,并作为外专代表分享对我国科技发展的体会和建议。他在发言中提到了中国政府为疫情防控所做出的巨大努力,并表示由衷的感谢。2020年的太空探索步伐鼓舞人心,嫦娥五号,天问一号,FAST射电望远镜一个个不凡的探索鼓舞着无数的人。之后Roberto Soria教授提出了自己对于科研的想法与建议,科研的蓬勃发展得益于国家间的多边合作、商品与思想的自由交流与碰撞以及社会和经济的可持续发展。最后Roberto Soria教授回顾了自己来到中国,来到中国科学院大学几年间的生活与学习经历,表达了对中国科学院大学与中国科学院国家天文台为他提供平台和队伍的感激之情,对中国政府支持外国专家投身科研做出的努力表示赞赏。

  Roberto Soria教授是中国科学院大学天文与空间科学学院教授,意大利籍,本科毕业于有六百多年历史的都灵大学,博士毕业于澳大利亚国立大学,先后在英国伦敦大学,哈佛大学等国际顶尖机构开展研究,获居里夫人国际学者、澳大利亚杰出学者等称号。Soria教授长期从事致密天体,超新星,活动星系核等方面的理论和观测研究,在多个领域做出了重要的开创性成果,已发表了156篇论文,总引用4454次,h因子达38。近年来以第一作者身份在《Nature Astronomy》、《Science》、《MNRAS》等多篇高水平期刊发表文章。

  Soria教授于2017年加入国科大天文与空间科学学院。作为国际知名学者,利用其自身在致密天体吸积物理方向的研究优势获得了哈勃、钱德拉X射线望远镜等国际顶尖天文研究组织和设备的支持。尤其是在面对未来研究热点时域天文,Soria教授与多个来自美国、澳大利亚、法国等国际团队开展密切合作;代表国科大参与到我国未来天文大科学设施司天工程预研中,作为国际发言人代表司天工程在多个国际会议上做邀请报告,推动该项目建立良好的国际合作、吸引国际优秀人才和资金进入到项目中,有效增强了我国天文学科的国际影响力。

  Soria教授还热心于教育事业,注重中西方文化差异,自编讲义,给中国学生教授《天文科技文献阅读与写作》课程,获得学生们一致好评。同时,热心指导本科生和研究生科研,其中2015级本科生牟枭勇在其指导和支持下参与“最大黑洞”研究工作,并在2018年国际天文学年会上展示自己的成果。

  来自美国、意大利、新加坡、尼泊尔、英国、法国的专家就中国经济与金融、基础科学研究、新冠肺炎疫情防控、教育、科技创新、环境保护等谈了意见和建议。

 

  附:中国科学院大学教授Roberto Soria在外国专家新春座谈会上的讲话

 

Dear Premier Li Keqiang, Distinguished Scholars, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  It is a great honour for me to address this influential audience and share my thoughts about astronomy research. My name is Robert Soria, and I work for the University of the Chinese Academy of Science, at the National Astronomical Observatories in Beijing.

  First of all, I want to thank the government for the job they are doing to keep the pandemic under control. When I see security guards standing outside my community gates, in the cold, day and night, to check that we follow the correct health procedures, I know that it is thanks to those workers if I can do my comfortable job sitting in my warm office. They keep me and my colleagues safe. 

  What we do at the National Astronomical Observatories and in other space science departments around the country may not have immediate practical value, it does not save lives, but it has cultural value and long-term economic benefits, as I will mention later.

  Space exploration helped cheer people up this year, right when we all needed it. We all felt proud to see Chang'e 5 reach the Moon and come back with its precious stones. We shall all feel proud again when Tianwen 1 lands on Mars, when the Tianhe module of the Chinese Space Station is launched, and when we hear of new discoveries from the 500-m Tianyan radio telescope and other new astronomical facilities.

  One reason why astronomy and space exploration capture our imagination and lift our spirit is because of national pride. That has always been part of the space race in every nation. But there is much more than that.  As President Xi JinPing said in his opening address to the International Astronomical Union General Assembly in Beijing, in 2012, ``to explore the vast universe is the common goal of all humankind''. Astronomy and physics remind us that the beauty and the order of the universe are much deeper than our current temporary strife here on Earth. The Moon, Mars, the Milky Way have seen many pandemics, wars, economic crises come and go, and they are still out there for us and our future generations to explore.

  To do research today we need the right social and economic environment, and a government with the political wisdom to help create, promote and protect that environment. Science thrives and goes hand in hand with three conditions: i) multilateral cooperation between nations; ii) free trade of goods and ideas; iii) sustainable social and economic development. There is a positive feedback between scientific research and those structural conditions, that is they help develop each other. Very little scientific progress has ever come from closed, under-developed countries, and very little socio-economic progress can be achieved without a solid scientific research basis. Let me summarize what those three conditions mean for astronomy.

  First, multilateral cooperation: the most exciting discoveries in astronomy are the result of observations from different telescopes or satellites, from different countries, analyzed by multinational teams with complementary expertise. Two black holes may collide in the sky tomorrow: the echo of their collision may be picked up by a gravitational wave detector in the United States; a corresponding burst of high-energy radiation may be seen by the Chinese Insight X-ray telescope orbiting the earth; an optical flash may be observed by a telescope in Chile; and a radio signal may be detected by radio antennae in South Africa. Lands apart, sky shared [ 山川异域, 风月同天 ]. It is great news for the reputation of Chinese astronomy that the Tianyan telescope will be open to foreign scientists from this year. But those multilateral collaborations in astronomy and in other fields of research can only happen within a favourable political framework, which governments can guarantee.

  Second, free exchange of goods, people and ideas: our research is more successful if we enable foreign scientists to come and work or visit us here; if we can visit them in their countries; if we can meet and present our results at international conferences. Foreign students will benefit from doing part of their degree in China, and vice versa. That is why for example the Chinese Academy of Sciences has opened the CASSACA research centre in Santiago (Chile), to develop cooperation in science and technology. I hope the government can help us create the conditions to open similar research centres in other countries. When my compatriot scholar Matteo Ricci [ 利玛窦 ] came to live in China, more than 400 years ago, to teach the European knowledge of astronomy and geography, and then when he translated and explained Chinese culture and Confucian philosophy to the Europeans, that was a pioneering example of mutually respectful scientific exchanges. 

   Third,socio-economic development: scientific research leads to technological innovations. As Premier Li Keqiang said at a recent meeting of the National Science and Technology Leading Group, innovation is the primary force driving development, and China needs to deeply integrate science and technology into the economy to boost its technological strength. Someone might argue: why should we fund astronomy or other pure sciences, instead of focusing on research with more practical applications? The answer is that even pure sciences such as astronomy contribute to technological progress: from computers to mobile phones, from medical equipment to new materials, from X-ray scanners to high-resolution cameras. Moreover, they inspire young people to use their talents, study hard and apply their knowledge to the development of society. When China cooperates with South Africa to build an array of radio telescopes in that country, and the infrastructures required to operate those telescopes, it is not just an astronomy project: it is a channel for creating jobs in previously disadvantaged areas, and developing a more prosperous society. It improves the image of China overseas. International science and international sport are important vehicles of diplomacy.


   Let me also briefly mention my personal experience as a visiting scholar at UCAS. I came to live and work in China 4 years ago, 4 years in which I have witnessed first hand the progress and success of Chinese astronomy. I am proud to be involved in one of NAOC's most ambitious long-term projects, called SiTian. We plan to develop and install a network of about 100 optical telescopes over six continents, in order to monitor the whole sky continually every hour and catch unusual events such as stellar explosions or black hole outbursts. In fact, already more than 3000 years ago, Chinese astronomers were the pioneers of this kind of research, the study of things that suddenly and unexpectedly change in the sky, appearing or disappearing (sometimes it was a good omen, sometimes a bad omen). We have records of ``guest stars'' (novae or supernovae) observed in the Shang dynasty and recorded on oracle bones. Now we want China to lead the world in this field again. An ambitious project such as SiTian, installed across many countries, requires multilateral collaborations, for example within the countries of the BRICS group, and within the Belt and Road Initiative. We have begun to establish contacts and mutual trust at the scientists' level, before we can work on memoranda of understanding at the political level.

  In conclusion, I am confident and optimistic that scientific innovation will continue to contribute to the development of the Chinese economy. Specifically for astronomy, the new facilities and research projects that China will develop over the course of the 14th Five-Year Plan will solve some long-standing mysteries of the universe, but also reveal new mysteries and questions to be explored by the next generation of scientists. I will be proud to have walked a little bit along this endless road, in the excellent company of my UCAS and NAOC colleagues. 

   I thank you very much for your hospitality at this meeting and in this country, and I thank the government for their renewed investment of money and trust in scientific research for the years to come.

 

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